The Shirley Temple: An Irresistible Drink Everyone Loves

Shirley Temple recipe

The Spruce

Prep: 3 mins
Cook: 0 mins
Total: 3 mins
Serving: 1 serving
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
68 Calories
0g Fat
19g Carbs
0g Protein
See Full Nutritional Guidelines Hide Full Nutritional Guidelines
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 1
Amount per serving
Calories 68
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 0g 0%
Saturated Fat 0g 0%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 9mg 0%
Total Carbohydrate 19g 7%
Dietary Fiber 2g 7%
Protein 0g
Calcium 25mg 2%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

The Shirley Temple is one of the best and most famous nonalcoholic mixed drinks around. This mocktail is so popular that you can order it for yourself or the kids at almost any restaurant. But there's no reason to wait for a dinner out because it's incredibly easy to make at home. Simply made with lemon-lime soda, ginger ale, grenadine, and topped with a maraschino cherry, this drink is sure to bring back childhood memories for some.

This homemade soda recipe was one of the original "mocktails," and it was named after the famous child star. Shirley Temple left a legacy beyond the movies, and this fantastic mixed drink is just one of them.

The Shirley Temple is a nice way to dress up your average soda. The combination of fruity sweetness and bubbles results in a delicious drink that is great for dinner, as a refreshing afternoon drink for the family, or anytime you simply want a quick taste of an old-fashioned soda fountain. 

Ingredients

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for making a Shirley Temple drink

    The Spruce

  2. Pour grenadine into a Collins glass with ice cubes.

    Pour grenadine into an ice-filled glass
     The Spruce
  3. Top it with equal amounts of lemon-lime soda and ginger ale.

    Top with equal parts lemon-lime soda and ginger ale
     The Spruce
  4. Stir well.

    Stir the Shirley Temple
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  5. Garnish with a cherry. Enjoy.

    Shirley Temple cocktails garnished with cherries
     The Spruce

2 Sodas or 1?

Why are there two sodas in the Shirley Temple recipe? It's a good question and a common one. While it is unusual, it is not unheard of in the world of drinks. For instance, the Presbyterian is a retro whiskey highball that combines club soda and ginger ale.

The reason is that each soda brings its own flavor to these drinks, and by splitting the two, you get a pleasant balance with neither dominating. In the case of the Shirley Temple, the lemon-lime soda (7-Up, Sprite, or a similar brand) adds a refreshing citrus flavor. The ginger ale brings in a sweetened spice. 

Some people have taken to mixing only one of the sodas into a Shirley Temple. Quite often, they choose the ginger ale, though some prefer the lemon-lime soda alone. While either is nice when sweetened with grenadine, the combination of the two does make a difference in the finished drink.

Give it a try for yourself. Mix grenadine with both sodas separately and compare those drinks with the Shirley Temple. You might be amazed at the results. No matter if you choose two sodas or prefer one over the other, keep in mind that a true Shirley Temple uses both.

Tip

  • If your family loves Shirley Temples, consider making your own grenadine. It's incredibly easy, requires just a few ingredients, and can be stored in the refrigerator for a week at a time. You can choose a recipe that uses pomegranate juice or, during pomegranate season, opt for a grenadine recipe that uses the fresh fruit.

What Is Grenadine Made Of?

It's a common misconception that grenadine is a cherry-flavored syrup. This is understandable because of the red color and the Shirley Temple's cherry garnish. However, a true grenadine is actually flavored with the sweet flavor of the pomegranate fruit. ​


The myth may also be due, in part, to the fact that many of the grenadine syrups you can buy are artificially flavored. They can be made with a great variety of mysterious ingredients, and you will find a few that do actually use cherry flavorings. The good news is that more quality grenadines are being produced as people realize that a drink mixer as valuable as this really should not be discounted as a novelty.